ZOMBIE TRAMP! - From creator Dan Mendoza (Super Real VS The Movie Industry special, Pulp Girls), this creator-owned comic that completely sold out at 2009's Comic-Con International.
It's just like the title says... Janey Belle was Hollywood's most popular high priced call girl, until she got set up on one really bad date with... the undead!!
We caught up with creator, Dan Mendoza, to talk about Zombie Tramp.
Decapitated Dan: Hey Dan, thanks for taking time to talk with me about Zombie Tramp First of all lets talk about you. Who are you and what do you do?
Dan Mendoza: I'm an artist that never fit in with typical styles and always had trouble finding work, so I became an electrical worker by day and an artist at night. It seems to work well for me.
Decapitated Dan: How did you find yourself getting into making comics?
Dan Mendoza: I've always loved comics. I was really big about them in the early 90's, just around the time all the top artists like Mcfarlane and Jim Lee went and made up image. I thought to myself, "this is the dream." from then on, I would spend all my time writing stories and drawing constantly. I took alot of life drawing classes and would copy my favorite artists' anatomy skillz til I felt I was getting it right. Eventually I would get shot down by companies left and right. even Japanese companies. Either I was told I draw too Japanese style (from the americans) or still too american (from the japanese). so i went to college to be an animator. When I graduated I couldn't make a good living off of it and decided to get a blue collar job. It was then that i got back into comics. My new job made enough money where I thought to myself, "Why bother getting shot down some more, why not self publish my own book?" And Zombie Tramp was born.
Decapitated Dan: So what can you tell me about Zombie Tramp?
Dan Mendoza: This is a grind house styled tale of revenge. Its about a high priced call girl named Janey Belle, whos transvestite Madame gets arested for her huge prostitution ring. fearful of what might happen to him, he makes a deal with the cities crooked sheriff. The deal is one nite with the sweetest piece of ass he's got in exchange for his freedom. The sheriff agrees and Janey is sent to his house. when she gets there, she comes face to face with the sheriff's Zombie son and gets bit. Janey escapes only to die later. She then wakes up as a zombie and starts a killing spree on all of those who have wronged her.
Decapitated Dan: Who are the main characters?
Dan Mendoza: The main character is of course is Janey Belle the Zombie Tramp. Another is a mysterious VooDoo preistess named Xula. The main villain is Sheriff Rudolph. A power abusing douche bag that feels he's above the law.
Decapitated Dan: Where did the ideas for this story come from?
Dan Mendoza: My ideas for the book come from watching old grind house movies and Robert Rodrigez's Planet Terror. The biggest zombie inspired movies would have to be the original night of the living dead and Lucio Fulci's 1979 movie Zombie. I thought to my self. "this is great. I'm tired of the whole virus zombie's. Why cant they be zombies just because their zombies?" "No need for science to explain anything." Also I dig the super violence of the Grind house genre. I figure this is a horror comic and im self publishing it. I'm gunna make it as violent as I want.
Decapitated Dan: If you were to give this book a movie style rating (G, PG, PG-13, R, X) what would it get, and why would you say that?
Dan Mendoza: Rated R definately. All the best movies are. When you go to see a horror movie you want 3 things. Blood, Violence, and lots of tits.
Decapitated Dan: In terms of horror what can we expect?
Dan Mendoza: In a way its action based horror. Not much on psychological horror
Decapitated Dan: What are you hoping readers can take away from this book?
Dan Mendoza: After reading Zombie Tramp, I want readers to feel satisfied of what i have given them and a love for my character. I want them to walk away feeling that Janey had closure and that they did as well.
Decapitated Dan: So you and me have known each other for about a year now, and seeing your book now in Previews is so cool. So how did you go from doing this on your own to now having the opportunity to have it in comic shops worldwide?
Dan Mendoza: I have to give props to my friend Jason Martin. Jason is the owner of Super Real Graphics whos had his hand in making independent comics for years. It all started with his own book Super real and moved on to developing a series in the works called Pulp Girls. in the middle of this, Jason has distributed afew books for independent artists like myself. He took a big interest in my Zombie Tramp book and invited me to share a table with him at Sandiego comicon 2009. At the time i had only made #1, so I attended and brought about 85 copies of my book and sold out in 3 days. Jason said this was unheard of and from then on, I had jason help sale my books at every convention he attended while i kept working on more books. Every show he or I attend, Zombie Tramp makes great sales. So Jason's the one that pushed to get this book in graphic novel form in previews. Since he's delt with all this before on other books I told him, "As long as i dont have to think and keep drawing, im all for it." So from then on Jason handles the buisness end of all my stuff.
Decapitated Dan: So for all the hard working self publishing guys out there, what advice can you give?
Dan Mendoza: Persistence. Find a character that people can fall in love with and go for it.
Decapitated Dan: How has the reaction to the book been at the shows?
Dan Mendoza: It's been really great. People love the character and all day long you hear people walk by saying, "Awesome! Zombie Tramp." or snooty people walking by saying, "Zombie Tramp???". either way, good notice or bad notice, it gets notice. and people remeber that.
Decapitated Dan: Can we expect more Zombie Tramp material in the future?
Dan Mendoza: Of course. ill probably do some one shots here and there but i wanna switch my gears a little and try another idea i have.
Decapitated Dan: Can we expect more titles from you in the future?
Dan Mendoza: Yes. I'm gunna take afew months break and start on another title ive been working on.
Decapitated Dan: Any strange or interesting stories from shows you care to share?
Dan Mendoza: None spring to mind at the moment but ive been told by people walking by at shows that I'm sick. So that tells me that I'm doing something right. haha.
Decapitated Dan: Were you into any horror titles growing up that lead you to want to create a book like this?
Dan Mendoza: I never had a love for horror comics. I love horror but never came across a title I liked. but as far as movies, yes. Freddy movies, Jason movies, Exorcist, Amityville the Possesion, and American Werewolf in London.
Decapitated Dan: What comics are you currently reading?
Dan Mendoza: All i read right now is Hellboy and Chew. Also, I really liked Ben Templesmith's Wormwood.
Decapitated Dan: So where can readers find out more about this book?
Dan Mendoza: Superrealgraphics.com and my site toxiccandie.com
Decapitated Dan: So in summary give me a quick recap on Zombie Tramp and why fans should give it a try.
Dan Mendoza: Take a chance on Zombie Tramp. I promise you wont be disappionted. If you like lots of gore, dismemberment, hot chicks, guns, and fan service, Then this book is for you.
Decapitated Dan: Thanks so much for your time Dan.
Dan Mendoza: No problem. Zombie Tramp Graphic Novel comes out in stores in October. A perfect halloween treat.
Decapitated Dan: Comment on this interview here or on our forum.